This week I went to five Barry’s classes, wrapping up a ten class challenge. Every day I take a class, usually in the morning and never later than noon, I also jump on either the elliptical machine or a stationary bike in the evening for the goal mileage of the day. It has been really great for keeping my knees from getting too sore. Two-a-days, they work!
I am not a doctor. This should not be considered medical advice.
the Barry’s class experience
For those who have never attended a Barry’s class, I am here to break it down for you. I have taken a number of classes across two studios and four instructors. I find that the experience across instructors is fairly consistent.
Each class is composed of four sections, alternating twice between ~about~ fifteen minutes each of treadmill and strength training. But back up, because you are going to need to select a starting spot. When I did both the treadmill portion and the floor portion, I preferred starting out on the treadmill because I like to finish the running portion ASAP and find it to be a better warm up.
Be sure to share with the team member at check in that the class is your first because the instructor walks newcomers through how to use the Woodway treadmills in the last few minutes prior to class.
Weights-wise, the light weights are located towards the far side from the Red Room entrance: eight, ten, twelve, and fifteen pounds. (I also discovered a basket of shame to the left of the light weight rack, filled with five pound weights.) Heavy weights are on the far side from the Red Room entrance: twenty, twenty-five, and thirty. (Heavier? Maybe, I rarely venture back that way.)
my Barry’s class experience
This is where I share my only critique about Barry’s classes. I have a hard time understanding the instructors’ directions through the microphone over the music. I find myself missing out on climbing elevation during the treadmill segments. I like to know what my interval lengths are going to be going into any given exercise, and unfortunately I never seem to catch the explanation during class.
Conversely, instructors demo the floor spot strength training moves. While you don’t need to have experience at these types of exercise, the instructors don’t always catch, and therefore correct, poor form. Luckily, I tap into what I learned from my personal trainer pre-wedding as well as post-baby. Having body awareness and the mirrors help, too.
While my first few classes started on the treadmill, I get so nervous and anxious about running on a machine. First, my pace is especially slow because, duh, I am a distance runner, also have a slow cadence, short stride, and really weak knees. Second, I am afraid of getting so into the class that I up the pace in a fit of enthusiasm and wind up hurt myself. Third, and perhaps more horrifying, I am paranoid of either flying off the back of the treadmill or stepping too close to the front of the Woodway and going for a ride off the machine and maiming my head on a hand weight.
So morbid. But I’m a mom and I just cannot risk that.
I started taking a double floor spot during Barry’s classes. (There are about five of these spots per class.) Along with my second workout of the day, strength training via double floor classes is one of key ways I am making myself stronger for this half, in a way that I never did for the first two I ran.
My favorite part of the class is the smoothie that is waiting for me after. I always put in an order for either a vanilla or chocolate Skinny PB or Mochalicious at check in. The most delicious reward after a tough workout.